I use polystyrene tile printing quite a lot with students. Although most people associate them with preschool art classes and pizza bases I find them a great way to introduce the concept of relief printing and layering. With teaching lino printing in college I have to factor in several lessons of planning and sometimes unsuccessful cutting (basic red lino cutters + frustrated teenagers are never a good combination) only to find students can lose interest in their design once printed if it doesn’t turn out great first time. Polytiles are affordable enough to allow students to create several tiles and experiment with simple layering in different combinations particularly if using geometric and pattern based designs. Registering multiple tiles – using face down registration – simple stick the second tile face down onto the first print, flip the paper and tile over carefully and burnish the back of the paper to transfer ink to paper.
Layering prints helps develop an understanding of colour mixing and plates can be cut into shapes with a guillotine, sharp scalpel or scissors. I’ve done successful workshops with students from age 6 up to 18